Since November, Hendrix LaPierre spent time playing in the QMJHL, participated in Team Canada’s selection camp for the 2021 World Junior Championship, and just finished a week working out with the Washington Capitals.
Now back home in Quebec, LaPierre has entered into his fourth quarantine over the same two-month period. But it’s all been worth it for the Capitals’ first round draft pick from the 2020 draft.
“It was an incredible experience and very beneficial for me. Just to see how the players behave and to play at this level, it was very positive,” he told the Quebec Journal on Monday from Washington, just a few hours before his flight home.
OVI AND ZDENO
In his first interview following the draft, Lapierre told Capitals media that he had grown up idolizing Alex Ovechkin. He even had a giant poster of him in his room. Over the last seven days, Lapierre played in two scrimmages with his idol.
“I played on the same team as him in both intrasquad games. I introduced myself, we shook hands and talked to each other a little. It was a little weird because I’ve been watching him on television for ten or fifteen years. It was special to see him and shake his hand, but at the same time, I was there for a reason. I am part of the same organization.”
As for meeting Zdeno Chara, a photo was posted by the Capitals showing LaPierre talking to the 43-year old NHL legend last week in Capitals training camp.
“We didn’t have much time to chat because we were between two exercises, but we talked about hockey and the team this year. He is a guy you must respect and a future member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.”
Lapierre has spent a whopping 49 days in quarantine since November 7. First, in November his QMJHL team was required to quarantine after a teammate tested positive for COVID-19. In December, Lapierre was required to quarantine for 14 days when Team Canada had to unexpectedly isolate following two positive tests on the team. Then in early January, Lapierre had to quarantine for seven days before he could participate in Capitals training camp. Now home in Quebec, he will have to endure yet another isolation period before he can re-join the Chicoutimi Saguenéens of the QMJHL.
“It’s a little long, but at the same time, there are things worse than that. There are people who are giving themselves body and soul right now and who are working day and night to counter the virus. The least I can do is protect myself and not spread the virus. If I want to play hockey, that’s what I have to do, so I don’t mind. I try to take advantage of this to refocus on myself and train,” he told the Journal.
By Jon Sorensen